Gateshead manager Gary Mills’ first signing of the summer is a big one – record-breaking goalscorer Jon Shaw returning to Tyneside on a two-year contract.
Shaw, 30, left Gateshead for Luton Town two years ago after scoring an impressive 56 goals in 96 appearances.
In his last season at the International Stadium, 2011/12, the former Sheffield Wednesday striker smashed 35 goals in a Tynesiders’ shirt, including an incredible four hat-tricks.
Shaw, who has also played for Burton Albion, Halifax Town, Rochdale and Mansfield Town, picked up a Conference winner’s medal at Luton last season.
A regular in his first year at Kenilworth Road, he scored eight goals and played in the FA Cup wins over Wolves and Norwich City.
Mills tried to bring him back to Gateshead on loan earlier in the year, Shaw now back at his former stamping ground and keen to impress.
He said: “As soon as I found out Gateshead were interested I was keen to come back.
“Everyone knows how much I love the club and how much I enjoyed my last spell.
“After last season’s success, and with the club moving forward under a good manager, it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I’m happy to be back. My previous two years at Gateshead couldn’t have gone much better. I needed a kick-start at the time and it worked for us all.
“It was an amazing time for me, particularly the second season, and it’s part of the reason I’ve come back as I enjoyed it so much the last time.
“I’m so happy to come back and see if we can get more success.
“My last season at Gateshead was unbelievable, to score four hat-tricks and score 35 goals. Am I reaching too far to get 35 again ? Probably, but the fans know I’ll give it everything I have and I’m here to score goals.
“I’m sure the team will continue to create chances. They play my type of football and I can play to suit them, so hopefully the goals will come.”
Mills, meanwhile, is delighted to add firepower to his attack, particularly as last season’s leading scorer James Marwood looks set to move on.
He tried to bring Shaw back to Gateshead on loan earlier in the year and is pleased to finally get his man.
Mills said: “Shaw did a great job when he was last at Gateshead. He is an excellent striker, and one I tried to sign for York when I was manager at Bootham Crescent.
“He went to Luton instead, but I’m delighted to now have my man. He’s back in an environment he’s comfortable with – and he was hungry to come back to Gateshead.
“He’s a proven goalscorer at this level. He didn’t play as much as he would have liked at Luton last season and this is an opportunity for him to get going again.
“He had other offers from Conference clubs but he told me he wanted to come back to Gateshead if I wanted him - and I did.
“I’ve signed him for the way he plays and what he brings to the table.
“He likes scoring goals and isn’t afraid of missing chances.
“He’ll get his fair share of goals and will do the other side of the game to help the team, which is important as we achieved what we did last season as a team.
“To get Jon in as my first signing is fantastic and I’m also talking to other players who will make us stronger.”